tv John Yoo Jeremy Rabkin Striking Power CSPAN October 11, 2017 5:06am-6:09am EDT
[inaudible] [inaudible] >> this program is being recorded by c-span so we need to start at 530 and and at 630. i apologize for cutting off any moments of brilliance on their part or yours because of the timing. my name is john and i'm a visiting scholar here and co-author with jeremy who is at the other end. this book, striking power by yourself before supplies run out, that's a joke. supplies will never run out. we're pleased to have with us our two co- panelist and commentators. you have their bios in front of
you mr. lewis is a fellow at the center for strategic international studies which is almost next-door and a long background in this issue is just complaining about the -- >> ms. kelly has a ground and cyber security issues. were grateful to have them with us. can you briefly describe some themes of the book. we will hear first from rich in the engine and the will have 20 or 25 minutes for your questions and answers and discussion. let me welcome all of you to our building i cannot think of a better place to talk about future technology them from our
prototype ranch it's amazing facility and it looks like when the space-age right here. so welcome all of you. i want to thank lindsay who's over there for organizing the panel and making sure things ran so well. into the leadership and staff for putting this together the book basically has three points to it. one is that a lot of the rapid advances were seen in technology in the economy art coming to military weaponry. so if you look at autonomous cars, you're also seen great advances in robotics, uavs,
we've seen these for a little bit more than ten years through the leading edge of robotics are going to provide to military affairs. much more complex drones, navy vessels that don't need -- cruise. jones that can operate any autonomously, ground vehicles and antimissile defenses which is very much in the news. cyber also presents just as we see the aggregation and rapid manipulation of data in the civilian world and the use of algorithms to carry out things from trading and electrical systems, were also seen it in the military world. one example is the virus that was created by the united states and israel which delayed the
iranian nuclear program by several years. of course we've also been on the receiving end of cyber attacks into the government and office of personal management database another russian interference with the u.s. electoral system. in space, and just of course of a few years we've seen a rapid drop in the cost of launching satellites into space thanks to private enterprise, thanks to spacex. the same time, there's a lot of reluctance and concern about the deployment of these technologies in warfare. elon musk who is the head of spacex and head of tesla issued a letter signed by 100 other ceos calling for now) on the use of artificial intelligence and
weaponry. two or three years ago she joined 11 by stephen hawking and steve wozniak, one of the founders of apple and thousands of other scientists to call for regulation and prohibition of the use of artificial intelligence of weapons. they fear future where robots will make a decision on how to wage war or whether to try to assassinate enemy leaders or even to invade or occupy territory. so the book we wrote in a way as a response to these efforts to create a ban or heavily regulate these weapons. one is historically efforts have been due to failure. every time there has been a big events and economics it's also
been married to changes in military affairs. there's always been an effort to try to stop or ban the developments. they almost always invariably fail. think about world war i which plays in a broadway the economic progress made during the industrial revolution. we set the mass production of weapons the introduction of aircraft and submarines, people called for the banning of these weapons. but in the end the only one succeeded was on biological and chemical weapons. all the other weapons survived and were widely used. the second point we argue is that we should not fear these new weapons. because the effect is different than past revolutions.
past revolutions in the effective for has been to make were cheaper, more mass-produc mass-produced, more destructive and less discriminant the sense that weaponry discriminates unless. we think these new technologies have the opposite effect. instead with drones, cyber and space weapons the use of force could be much more precise, less harmful and less destructive and much more protected civilians. the first third thing we argue is that the main critics of these new technologies that come from technologies themselves have come from the united nations, united nation leaders,
many academics in the field and officials of other governments. the main argument has been wars going to become too easy when you can launch by pressing a button. or send a robot off to do the fighting. and so, why not ban the weapons to make war harder and more difficult to reduce war overall. it's not really an argument about the technology, it's really about the purpose of war in the modern age. whether there has been too much for her to little war. one thing we argue for example is that north korea were rwanda we have areas where countries we think are stuck or the moment to step of deploying large amounts of troops, resources and we
argue that these kind of technologies can provide us with options in between doing nothing and going to a full-blown war. though hopefully lead -- or stop these and negotiate disputes before they come to a full shooting war. the mcleod's before turning it over to our commentators. seems like a lot of the fear of new weapons is because james cameron is too good of a director. she's convinced all of us that the terminator movies are what we should fear. you can see it in the rhetoric opposed to these that if we go
down this route soon will be left to terminate our robots is kind that's will take over and humanity will be lost. i love science fiction, but, is it really a serious concern? to have evidence of that happening? has it ever happened before? why can't we take safeguards to make sure it doesn't happen in the future? so with that, i'll turn it over to richard. then will follow up by james. >> i'm coming at this from a different angle having worked at the department of defense for a couple of years and i to taught at the national war college. generally speaking we try to figure out how to best use the technology.
so when i read in the book about the illegal efforts to ban or discriminate against these kind of technologies my first thought is that it doesn't sound like a good idea. that would make it harder to win. there's a different perspective when you're coming from the department of defense i. let me take this to a different level. one thing we need to do coming from the perspective of america and being a representative of the american government. we need to be concerned about how best we can win. we can preserve this international system we have built and sustained for a long time. the system will last forever. no system does. eventually states who we don't agree with will prevail. we can maintain it for a longer time. the other thing going on is that our system is a peaceful, stable
democratic system only works if we have allies. if we start doing things that makes our allies uncomfortable or unwilling to work with us we will have problems. there's two sides to this even from the perspective of someone like me coming from the department of defense who wants our country to it on the battlefield, we have to take into account what our allies and friends are saying. i'm worried with this technological debate is kind of serious. we have to be really careful about going along with what our allies and friends and american constituencies are trying to do in banning the technology and stopping things like robotics on the battlefield or the use of cyberspace.
i don't think what they're trying to do is necessary logical. think there's a constituency out there that makes his living by being anti- u.s. that's what they do. doesn't matter what the issue is. i don't think for the most part these guys are terribly serious at the end of the day. when we hear about the things are saying we shouldn't do were doing almost all of them. and ask a practice were doing things they say we shouldn't be doing. seems like everyone else is out there as well. i'm not sure how serious these arguments are. they're making a lot of noise know we can't dismiss them out of hand. about using this to pursue her
interest so i'm trying to assess how serious these guys are in making these arguments and i guess somebody would have to show me that we have a like to stand on in the real world. >> so we have banned weapons in the past but it's usually weapons with a horrific effect, so nuclear weapons, weapons that don't have a horrific effect are not banned. that's one of the things i want to think about in this. it's not clear to me that john's points are wrong, that if anything the new developments will change warfare significantly. so you'll see cyber, and cyber
and precision and it will be at different type of battle just like in 1990 we saw different type of battle from that set of military technology. it's not clear that existing international law one doesn't apply. think everyone agrees it does. there is agreement that it at least applies. and that it won't reinforce the key principles of our conflict. so it's a bit premature to be worried about this. i was a there's two audiences, the audience we just heard about with the international lawyers. another is the old arms-control trick and as an old arms-control or can say that. that's to write a treaty or amended treaty that bans what your opponent's story and not what you're doing.
it's respected, and normal. i'd be upset if the russians to try to do that. the classic example is the chinese foreign ministry denouncing the weaponization of space. up until the morning they woke up and read that -- we have to expect our opponents will take advantage of efforts to constrain the u.s. without themselves being constrained. biological weapons are classic example of that when you think about russian behavior. i was thinking about this in the context of cyber attack. why are we so risk-averse? why do you people write about technology that don't exist. they do exist they been around for a long time.
the patriot has an autonomous mode. it's not the end of the world, it's preferable to have a machine shot a as opposed to having a human shot at. you have people who object seriously to the spread of this capability. why they risk-averse? because the society itself is change. western society, american society. we are much more risk-averse than the nuclear precedent which is a new demonic technology. that was the source of the godzilla movies. we worry about catastrophes that probably will not happen. this might be one of them. when i look at these things,
it's a further continuation of technologies that have made militaries more effective. we are not alone. i assume everyone knows that the lead next spread of drones is china, were not first place. but the larger debate about how these weapons bring on no peril to the future of conflict. we could have a larger discussion about improved military capabilities. you could make the case of making great powers more cautious. it reduces the risk. my own belief is that we will never see another world war. something like world war ii where you had mass mobilization and industrial warfare on a global scale. most countries will want to avoid that.
and it's precisely because of the increased capabilities provided by military system makes it so costly. >> want to briefly address one issue that is, and gone into an aspect of it. that is may be a lot of this talk about banning and control nobody's taking too seriously. i'm open to that but just so you have a frame of reference, and the cyber area nato sponsored project of coming up with how the armed conflict applies to cyber. they said it's not officially a nato document but the nato center for excellence brought in scholars from around the world
must be people affiliated with governments and came up with this study on how the conflict applies to cyber operation and then outthink will maybe that's just one thing, but for computing that had been written by private scholars and i mean not working for governments, mostly people at university and then a manual that's in the second position that's more detailed than the first. i went to the burke party, the launch and it was interestingly sponsored by the dutch
government, the finnish government. so many governments expect so much interest. and everybody now sees that they must be roles think kinda like the rules now i don't know, they could tell you confidently why would happen if we started going back and forth with extremely destructive cyber attacks. but, i think it's not real good to have everything channeled into there are rules of family will know what all the rules are. the point is to be inhibiting and certainly the way our government works there's a lot of lawyers is given material for lawyers to say we can't do that
could hear the rules. makes it look as if were -- at least in some areas there's a lot of people generating a lot of things that looked semi- authoritative and serious. it's not just people saying things on tv and just kidding. it discourages people to think about it from a serious way. the point of our book is not just let's cut loose and be wild, it is new technologies put into a different situation. we should think about how this works. the me give two examples.
the main treaty going back to the 1970s make a big distinction between military targets which are permissible in civilian, not only civilian human beings but civilian infrastructure should not be a military target. personality and treaties is not like to be excessive, it's, if there is going to be hard to civilian objects stop, it has to be incidental because it can't be the thing you're aiming at. it's incidental so can't be excessive in relation to the military advantage the giver gone after a military target and you happen to hit a military target. if you bomb with a thousand
bombers you get a break a lot of stuff and kill a lot of people, better be worth it. the point is, it wasn't worth it. this whole way of thinking which makes a certain sense of your city with 1943 technology to basically couldn't get within a five-mile radius of the intended target. more than half the bombs fell within and outside radius. there were not close which is why they needed somebody bombers. see you can save the iranian so the iranian. program to refine uranium will hit that installation and were just going to target the industrial control and some important pieces of equipment. no one was killed, it just
incapacitated this particular piece of equipment. if you step back and asked the military question was that a permissible target? was it a military target the iranian swear up and down as a peaceful nuclear reactor. that's a complicated dispute, even if you said their capacity to produce a bond on the road is affected, you did the incidental damage in the meantime. that set of questions that people learned how to ask about the kind of technology we had in the 70s doesn't make sense when you're dealing with cyber strikes that can be very focused. you might want to do before you're involved in these semi-
main point is, it's not only a matter of whose inhibiting us from doing things or doing but thinking in a creative and appropriate way what two new technologies enable us to do and what limits do we not want to have. we need to have a more open consideration of these things rather than a somewhat robotic way say that we have this body of law from the 70s let's just go forward applying it to a new strategic setting with new weapons and technology. >> is actually in town at the nato conference. i one of the events i asked the following question is not a popular question is can chipmunks capture tigers?
the reason for that is great powers behave in a certain way. you really need to look at the p5 and maybe even a subset. the p5 does not like -- it needs to do it wants to do. if the power chooses not to pursue these technologies they may be disqualifying themselves of being at the great power in the future. more poorly, the treaties have value because they set rules of how warfare should be engaged that minimizes civilian damage. but the conventions in the protocol, those are post factor. one thing i worry about is that they came after wars where we saw aerial bombardment chemical weapons and horrific destruction. that's what inspired them.
in some ways were theorizing the head of the event that might not be a good way to do it. usually these are post factor but we have some experience to base them on. >> another issue is cyberspace and how these work in this field. cyberspace i've thought a lot about over the past ten years. it's very subversive we'll think about some giant pearl harbor, the people realizing that's not really the issue. your opponents find some way to get into your system and they do it subtly. they're allowed to penetrate you without alerting you to the point where you're going to get up. you want to be of the keep
taking something but never to the point where forces it to take defensive maneuvers to jump out of the pot do something big. our adversaries have gotten very good at this. what they're finding are often legal which allow them to get into your system in ways that we can't resist. we can't stop. one of the things that's been in the news a lot has been chinese companies purchasing u.s. companies. you see them by strategic technologies. it's a free market. why not let chinese investors who may or may not be working in the chinese bureaucracy by it. so for americans, having the freedom to sell property but
once the technology is in the hands of the chinese government, it can be used to do devastating things to her military, our economy and so forth. that's a hole in our law. how do you revise our laws and traditions in a way that we can address these critical vulnerabilities which exist because we outpaced laws made in an earlier era so, this is something that needs to be addressed whenever we think about new technology been addressed or inserted into the mix of military capabilities on hand. >> i'm going to continue, what co-author and i'm still the moderator is a strange position to be in. it's like being an asian mother
but the kid which estimation can my mother would say that's a good score, but why didn't you do better so, having heard these two comments, why didn't we do better in her book? is there something we should've added? [laughter] >> what would you say in response to these two points? >> i do take the point, but there's a lot of talk about the conflict and it is hard to know what the real significance of it is particularly when we are not fighting. so when you're not fighting the easiest thing to say we would never do that over teaching in
our school that you're not supposed to do. what is i tell you. well, i don't know. since you posted is a question is this a criticism of the book, i wish i knew the answer that i would have a chapter, i think it's a feature of modern life people say things they don't quite mean but if they keep seeing them then he worry that it kinda makes a difference. i can give you an analogy, betsy devos was recently at my school same people have gotten really crazy with these sexual-harassment procedures. they kept saying things which
they didn't quite fully think of a cap sane and then there is a certain moment in. if you're really in a war you don't care so much about lawyers or how you look, i think the main interest of these weapons, could be wrong but i think it allows us to deliver coercive call them strikes, nudges, prompts, inducements. i think the attack was excellent nobody in the world, no government said that was wrong, should've done that. it's precisely in that shadowland where you're not an
all-out war and just think to hell with the rules, this is all out war but it isn't quite normal peacetime interactions rethink there's hesitation. there should be. you don't want to be provocative or have people to announce it. in a situation like that think there's some hesitation. i give you an example which is instructive. the bush administration had this program to stop the reformation of weapons of mass destruction. one thing that we did was intervention of high fees. we sees the ship from north korea which is bound to someplace in africa that wasn't shipping civilian goods from north korea which everyone likes to have. the whole thing was suspicious
and we really stick quickly. what that was about in normal peacetime conditions were worried about the laws of the sea, we know it from we allowed ourselves to interfere with the shipping and we just said no, you need our permission to be on the atlantic. but short of that were not quite sure what the rules are. there some indication that were more inhibited than we might be in we need to think harder about new technologies that allow us to have an invention it's not the same as launching a war.
i'm not saying if we thought hardwood figured out a way to have an exactly perfectly calibrated scheme which we could disseminate. were gonna learn from experience and see what the reactions are but i think it's fair to say, even excepting the point there's a great deal of meaningless rhetoric and gaming, sometimes in danger of inhibiting ourselves excessively are being too worried, someone said to me you can't do that that's coloring outside the lines they said it's okay to color outside the lines. it's a different kind of pen and a fabulous color. >> want test going? panelists. jeremy sharpen this point which
i think is jeremy's view that the loss of or in their postmodern inclination or ideologically motivated they have the effect of inhibiting the united states and western powers and what they can or willing to do. these new technologies give us the opportunity to try to change those. do you agree with that initial argument that the laws of for our really motivated by political or ideological gains? to think the united states should use these opportunities to change them back to the way they were before or new system? >> i agree, international law is a way in which other countries tried to constrain the united
states. you try to find some way to gain some control. go back to the 1970s and from the perspective of fairness gives all of the advantages to the guerrillas, the terrorists, all the advantages go to the week powers and it's designed to constrain, try to find some way to keep that superpower at bay and in check. right now there might be some opportunities for these weapons to change that up a bit. i think that's the case. but the other thing is that our adversaries are making good use of these technologies. the chinese and russians, their finding ways to take advantage of these.
if we come up with new laws they're going to apply but i really don't think new laws and government technology, i don't think the chinese can respect those laws so, if we come up with a new set of laws that try to constrain the technology, cancer goodness coming out of it for the international system we built since world war ii. maybe i'm too dismissive of the international lawyer class, but if they were successful think it would be a bad thing for the type of world stable systems we have today. >> i wonder if it's not more of a political issue. i'm treading a little outside and the preference in western
society for the last few decades has been to move away from force as an instrument of state power and particularly in the western european countries. none of whom with perhaps carry the load when it comes to defense. some people call it strategic fluidity. i think the laws are relatively flexible and give you the ability to do what you need to do if you can justify it. i think it's our interpretation tesla dilemma. it's an industry now and parts of the academic world to create a new norm governing new warfare. you can raise the weapons in the same months we don't need new
norms. i'm not even sure we need new loss. but we might need to rethink the politics. i think countries are cautious about force, even the russians and chinese are careful to not cross an ill-defined threshold. we have entered a new way to think about conflict. we need to think through that, not so much to change the laws but change how we apply those laws. >> we will turn to questions from the audience. i've been asked to say to keep in mind the event is five street will be on c-span. wait for the microphone to come to you before you ask your question. speak clearly, ask a brief
question and make sure it is a question. i teach at berkeley so questions turn into speeches we want to avoid that here. if you're directing the question to a specific person or panel is a hole that will be helpful. >> thank you. the mattress the question to all of you. if we take with the presumption this technology benefits united states in any asymmetrical way, their similar, with the attitude that you are advocating change in any way? >> not for me. one issue that hasn't come up is
the aspect of reducing casualties. this part i'm baffled by. if you have to choose between us soldier being shot or a machine, i know what i would pick. it has nothing to do with the vantage from one side or another. not sure we have an advantage. opponents have been thinking for a decade on how to build technology that gives them an advantage. maybe one of these people who send the letters we don't have these at thomas weapons what was the treaty of 1926? >> month, if this technology save people's lives which it will do on the battlefield, let's use it.
>> some of this might be really propelled provocative and make war more likely it depends on which technology are talking about. there's certain types of cyber conflict i like to ban if we could get our opponents to adhere to it. have no hope that they will adhere to anything weird want them to adhere to. i felt like it would help us in the process i would be the first to get some rule of law passed. >> i want to say two things. the first is, we should not think of this as the only conflict that matters is the united states and china. we haven't for china since 1953 that we have a lot of casualties fighting another places.
it's worth thinking about how this could apply to places in the middle east for example. the second thing is to be crude about this, in my view for what it's worth there cannot be an international norm binding on us without our consent. therefore if we disagree it's not the rule, at least for us. if you accept that which certainly everybody should not only accept but assert a repeat every day, the danger is not the legal danger that we get trapped is a psychological danger that we get a little bit confused like it's a bad thing to do. if someone says you're just saying cyber is lawful because
you're better at it, okay, fine. why is that bad the point is the rules cannot be to make sure everybody has an equal chance. the point of the roles is to avoid unnecessary suffering when it can be avoided is not to equalize the situation. he said wisely one have that agreement it's okay. we can live with that. was the point of being a superpower if you can't live with some uncertainty in the world. >> since were beating up on international lawyers all day, the legal advisor will defend its position. >> seems to me that a couple of
developments. the arms-control debate or is it a debate over how the laws of war, what they should be in this context? it was interesting back at the beginning of the year when the russia had given interference was at its peak and so academics were not -- so we cannot even blame them for that. we're proposing this great outrage on what the russians have done the recommending response faction that would deter them from doing it again.
i asked the question, what is it we be taking the action against? was it the hacking for the use of what they got through the hacking and disseminating in the middle of the u.s. campaign? response came back it was the use of this material the u.s. campaign and then the whole thing fell apart. >> but for example what's an appropriate response to the use of these cyber things as opposed to whether or not the cyber hacking should be permitted i don't see any answers on the horizon. >> i do not think they're very clear rules about this. i think what the russians did is
the most monstrous thing ever i would speculate that we have done similar things another countries of action. we tried to help, also it's unclear to me what the motive was on the russian side. i think we have a more constructive strategy. i think they were trying to shake things up. but it's fair to say they're not really great rules about this. i think we don't want there to be agreed world's because we don't know what we would like to do as far as gathering information and deployment touches the core, it's distracting to say cyber, think of it as espionage. would we like there to be an elaborate cold of espionage rules?
i think not. >> so president trumps executive order on cyber security includes the commissioning of a study by the interagency community of how to deter, how to link norms of deterrence. one thing you'll see is a study and perhaps suggestions for retaliatory actions that will be painful, damaging, but not permanent reversible. to go back to the arms-control lingo this would be populating the wrong rungs of the escalation letter. below that were these activities fall there hasn't been a lot of thought. i think the administration to
think up these temporary, painful but reversible retaliatory actions it's a good idea. >> will supplement a little bit the book itself is about arms-control but not about deterrence. we did have arms-control that seceded until soft and towards the end. after a lot of time and experience with weapons and experience with our adversaries. so what he's talking about is what you'd want to do. develop a message of retaliating like russian hacking of elections or china stealing the database. so after a long practice of deterrence rather than signing an agreement and treaty are putting together expert manual for the chairman mentioned
there's a harvard project that gets killer robots. so we don't think any of those things are going to succeed but the things are talking about are the more important areas we can have deterrence. these create more opportunities. >> we want to have a study in deregulation of course of uses of new technology. >> everybody hates arms controllers. >> the utility of arms-control and the future is a good question. >> i'm calling on the ringers first. how about harvey over here.
>> hello. my question or, as in my private capacity. it did not represent any entities i associate with. so to raise the issue of what we call in the law, camera measures which are starting to evolve the practice there's a grammar of levels of conversation that you're having and one is, we always talked about the evolution of military affairs and technology is becoming this revolution. were talking about the third offset insider world about what the advantages of the west from the adversary. but there's a notion that what you're focusing on this how you apply the law to the idea of fighting.
but we also look at what the reason is to go to war. technology is cutting across both of those phenomena. as you said, a lot of countries are trying to figure out was below the threshold under the geneva connections. a lot of us are thinking about that. i be curious for use a group to start talking about what you see and what would be in this space, reason that would crossover. i don't think you're saying that you wanna throw out where making a distinction. the origins for all of these norms comes from us which is the labor code which started in the civil war which lincoln lisa the left and right margin of what's
appropriate and he does it in the context of the civil war because the goal in the end is to join the north in a matter that doesn't result in an ongoing civil war which we may have. i be curious to see the panel's reaction. >> we have to do this in the lightning round fashion. >> we started this with the labor code. he was hired to do this caceres from germany and was thought to know what do they think the rules are. he gave some explanation of why these were the rules. the to the larger point, yes we want to have rules in the way we fight war. the question is are they frozen in place to a people thought they should be in the 70s and i think the answer is no.
one question about getting into the war's an interesting fact which is been totally forgotten, before the second world war they had pacific reprisals which meant hit them hard and break stuff. and then after 1945 it's hit them hard and the mobile war. well, no. this had to be something which was itself lawful. it's more than that. it blurs lines as to what you think of as an active force when you can do it at a distance without landing personnel and we need to think more about that. >> i would address it by saying what counts as were now is
unclear. the russians right now regularly say they are at war with us. there's also a strategic chinese contingent his set they are at war with the united states. if you're doing what some people have done truly and dollars of damage is that considered war? what if last week a report came out it's will have to do more damage, is that were? the old notion that the cold war does not cover it anymore and we need to really rethink this in common sense terms and come up with solutions to solve some of these technological puzzles.
>> quickly, the rules that apply to combat and the use of force remain applicable and appropriate. i don't see any difficulty in using proportionality distinction and discrimination and military necessity. as we have heard the process difficult is what qualifies as were now? what is the decision you make? in some ways the rules we have ours germane to the new technologies is a conflict where you wore colorful conflicts in marsh into battle. i think it is more what is conflict, not what you do when you're in conflict. i know what to do, but making that decision is not clear anymore.